Climate change and site: Relevant mechanisms and modeling techniques

Christopher R. Schwalm, Alan R. Ek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Forest growth modeling is moving away from description and toward explanation. The acceptance of global warming and effects related to climate change has reinforced this evolution. In the recent past, there have been several reviews of modeling techniques that have addressed, among other things, model structure and hierarchies within models. We argue that models seeking to adequately address climate change must include a specific suite of site characteristics. These range from primary effects of climate change (temperature, CO2, and O3 increase) to secondary effects (increase in soil temperature, microbial activity, and changes in precipitation patterns) and tertiary effects (changes in tree phenology and photosynthesis). This paper (i) compares 12 existing individual tree growth simulators designed to address climate change or related effects, (ii) proposes a set of site-related mechanisms and entities to be included in any modeling framework to address climate change, and (iii) suggests appropriate lines of research to attain the goal of a model driven by climate and able to be initialized with readily available metrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-257
Number of pages17
JournalForest Ecology and Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 15 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research supported by the Department of Forest Resources and the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Minnesota and the McIntire–Stenis Cooperative Forestry Research Program.

Copyright 2007 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Climate change
  • Forest ecosystems
  • Model review
  • Site modeling


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